Ian McCalder

Ian McCalder

I love the Canadian Rockies!

Ian McCalder's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

Ian McCalder's Bio

I'm an avid climber. It's the activity that drives me to be outdoors. Camping and hiking are just ways to get to the crag for me.

Skiing is another weakness of mine and keeps me busy in the winter. I've also developed an addiction to ice climbing to round out my winter activities.

Ian McCalder

Ian McCalderwrote a review of on October 25, 2010

5 5

I picked up these gloves for ice climbing last year, and I must say they are fantastic. The palms are truly the stickest rubber I've ever seen, and they allow unparalleled dexterity without being constraining.

However, keep in mind they are not waterproof. Like, at all. If you plan on climbing in cold or wet conditions, pick something up with a shell material. Your hands will freeze the instant these gloves get wet. Generally speaking, they are better suited for mixed climbing due to this limitation, but I still break them out on warm days for late season ice climbing.

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Ian McCalder

Ian McCalderwrote a review of on April 4, 2010

5 5

I first ran in to the Laser Jacket a year and a half ago in a local gear shop. At the time I was totally smitten with the jacket, but couldn't justify the price tag (it's notoriously expensive). A year later I found myself still drooling over the Laser and decided to take the plunge. Three words: Best plunge ever.

I actually sold my Mountain Hardwear Dragon Jacket, just so I could fit this thing into my wardrobe. That was probably the easiest decision I've ever made. As has been said, the fabric is what makes this jacket stand out. It's windproof, sheds water like crazy, and is damn near waterproof. The jacket is actually made with a waterproof fabric (Schoeller WB-400), but the seams are not sealed. Thus the jacket gets an overall rating of "water-resistant".

The hood is big enough for any helmet known to man. The pockets will fit your PowerBar, ATC, gloves, or simply double as vents. I have had no sizing issues. I'm 5'11", 175 lbs and the medium fits like a dream.

If you're looking for a simple, windproof softshell with alpine pockets and a hood then this is your jacket. You simply don't need to look any further. In my opinion climbing softshells don't get better than the Mammut Laser. Not yet at least. This jacket is totally awesome approved.

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Ian McCalder

Ian McCalderwrote a review of on January 28, 2010

4 5

I bought these boots on a whim, since I got a deal on them. My inital impressions were very good. They were warm, comfortable, and certainly stiff enough for the indended purpose of ice climbing. Some people have expressed concern over the durability of the suede upper, but I've had no problems. Granted, my boots haven't spent a lot of time on the rocks just yet.

As time went on I began to notice that I got some pretty serious heel lift in the boots. The first couple climbs of the day were painful when my calves would pump out from trying to compensate for the heel lift. This is, of course, concerning as having calf pump on pitch 3 of 6 is pretty darn miserable. I'm going to try and find a spacer that could fit under the tongue of the boot to push my foot deeper into the heel pocket, but barring that I may have to try a different boot.

However this is no fault of the boot. It's not Scarpa's fault my foot is shaped more like a La Sportiva last. Therefore I still give the boot 4 stars since it's warm, comfortable, and climbs very well. The sole is fairly asymmetrical, so be careful when buying crampons. Some will have trouble fitting on the front toe welt if they are not curved enough to match the boot.

I'm more than pleased with the performance of the boot, especially the waterproofing. If I can nail down the fit then I'm sure the Scarpa Summits will be part of my arsenal for years to come. If you've got a wide-ish foot I would highly reccommend them for all your mountain activities.

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Ian McCalder

Ian McCalderwrote a review of on November 19, 2009

5 5

I've had my Transcendent for a couple months now, and I must say it's great. True to down jacket form, it's very light weight considering the amount of warmth you get. The cut is generous enough to throw a couple layers underneath when one must battle the icy cold heart of Mother Nature herself. Pack size is, of course, impressive and the entire jacket packs into the front right hand warmer pocket. This makes the jacket easy to throw into a backpack, or a convenient size to use as a pillow.

I must say that my inital impression of this jacket was a little lackluster. The Transcendent simply wasn't as warm as I had expected it to be. I would stand around outside or sit in my car and still feel cold when the temperature was around the freezing mark. Then I started moving. This jacket is not meant to keep you warm when you're waiting for the bus in the dead of winter. Instead, it's an active outdoor mid-layer than excels at retaining body heat when the user is in motion. I would have to disagree with the review by Glapierre as I don't believe this would make a good belay jacket. It simply isn't thick enough to be warm when standing around. However, everyone is slightly different and it might work fine for you. As a rule, I'm cold all the time, so I would need a heavier jacket to keep me warm whilst on belay.

Like any down jacket you will get some feathers "bleeding" out every now and then, but fear not. Since OR has a fantastic warranty program if you blow a baffle, OR will fix or replace the jacket in a timely fashion. That being said, I find the face fabric is tougher than one might expect considering its relative thinness.

Overall this is a great insulating piece for active outdoor pursuits. The light weight and packability mean that it'll find its way into my backpack no matter what and, as Andy put it, it just looks damn good. This jacket is awesome approved.

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